Last week, the Treasury announced an essay competition open to both undergraduate and postgraduate university students. The University Challenge 2013 was developed by a team at Treasury interested in provoking young minds and encouraging students to get more involved in the fiscal and policy position of New Zealand. Essays are judged on i) the depth of analysis, ii) suitable use of evidence and iii) demonstration of care taken to evaluate the impacts on different areas of policy.

Applicants are instructed to choose one of three topics for their 2,000 word paper. Crown assets, health, and overseas investment are each outlined and then pose a question to be answered. As these are especially pertinent topics in our current economy, the input from students, the policy makers of tomorrow, is more important than ever.

The Treasury advise applicants have a look at their Living Standards Framework to help with predicting possible flow-on effects of your policy proposals. Not only is this useful to provide a better background to get ahead in the competition, but it also provides insight in to how the Treasury ticks. To find out more – and to participate in discussion – head to the Living Standards Hub.

Key Points: closing date for entries is the 26th of August at 5pm, essays should be 2,000 words maximum, and first prize is $2,500 (that’s more than a dollar a word!).

Especially for all you LongTermNZers, this is a real opportunity to put what you learned in the December 2012 workshop in to practice.